As we persist with a culture of laziness, and incompetence, the UK lurches from one crisis to the next.

We keep reading about the NHS reaching ‘breaking point’ when that point was reached many moons ago and it sits, loved, but in its last throes in a nursing home, as it is deluged by visitors who all want a piece of the waning matriarch.

Other public bodies, such as the police, are also beyond the point of help as, with any level of extra investment or staffing, they continue to be as efficient as a cardboard motorcycle riding in a rainstorm.

Instead of solving crime and keeping us safe, it now seems the police’s culture is more about ‘easy wins’ and ticking boxes as they continue to turn a blind eye to true crimes that really affect us and instead, allocate resources to catching someone speeding at 35mph in a 30 zone or taking numerous daily Facebook and Instagram photos.

They have, like supermarkets, washed their hands of actually doing the job for which they were employed and instead passed the work onto the punter or victim.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Brett Ellis had to do some detective work to get the police to actBrett Ellis had to do some detective work to get the police to act

One recent example: A friend of mine, a fellow teacher, who commutes to work on his bicycle in all weathers to work, was kicked off his bike by a group of teens on pit bikes. Travelling at a speed he crashed square on into a lamppost and suffered broken ribs and a collar bone.

The police, as seems to be the case more frequently, were not interested and within a few days closed the case as no evidence could be found.

This situation is now the norm: A couple of years ago at a well-known fast-food eatery in St Albans, my daughter, seeing her friend, unprovoked, being beaten up by an unruly mob of teenage boys and girls, bravely jumped in to help. The entire incident, appalling as it was to watch, was videoed by one of the perpetrators and posted online.

I, with the parent of her friend, did a small level of private investigation and found the names of five of the attackers – it was then that the police eventually acted and made a couple of arrests.

The outcome, although lame, was my daughter being read out an apology written by one of the perpetrators that we were not allowed to keep due to some data protection nonsense.

And so, forgive me if I don’t give a ‘thumbs up’ to pictures online of officers standing next to graffiti that they ‘vow’ to sort out. It's yet another easy win as it's Instagrammable.

Meanwhile, we may as well continue as we are in a state of semi-anarchy and hope that we avoid becoming the victims of violent crimes that are generally solvable if they bother to treat incidents as if they had happened to one of their own.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher.